In truth, I first discovered the band Keane through Pandora radio, although their song “Somewhere Only We Know” became rather ubiquitous on AAA, rock, and pop radio stations back in 2004–and since. My guess is that many of you will recognize their music, but may not really know them as a band.
Keane is one of the best and most successful Beatle-esque bands to emerge from the U.K. over the past decade. Definitely cut from the same cloth as U2, Oasis, The Smiths, and Coldplay, their sound is nonetheless unique power pop/rock delivered through crafty lyrics, powerful choruses and compelling hooks.
Keane is a three-piece band out of East Sussex, England. Keane is comprised of Tom Chaplin (vocals), Richard Hughes (drums), and Tim Rice-Oxley (chief songwriter/bass/piano). And they are major stars in their home country–and around Europe–unlike in the States.
Although Keane has been around in various forms since 1995, they did not release their first studio album until 2004–Hopes and Fears. It featured the aforementioned single “Somewhere Only We Know” as well as “Can’t Stop Now” and “Bedshaped.” Hopes and Fears won best album in Britain at both the Q Awards and the BRIT Awards–both much more friendly to Optimists’ favorite music than our own native Grammys–and was also the second highest selling album there in 2004. They were nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Artist category in 2005 as a result of that release as well.
Following it are 2006’s Under The Iron Sea (my personal favorite) and 2008’s Perfect Symmetry. Under The Iron Sea birthed the memorable singles “Is It Any Wonder?” and “Crystal Ball.” And the title track is a notable offering on Keane’s 2008 album.
To learn more about Keane and to sample some of their music, visit their official web site.
I always thought that I knew
I’d always have the right to
Be living in the kingdom of the good and true
and so on
but now I think how I was wrong
And you were laughing along
And now I look a fool for thinking you were on, my side
— “Is It Any Wonder?” from Under The Iron Sea (2006)
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